With its classic gothic features, Novena Church won’t go unnoticeable despite being surrounded by high-rise, glass cladded buildings of Singapore. Church of St. Alphonsus, colloquially coined as the Novena church (due to its intercessory series of devotions to Mother Mary) is a finalist in the World Architecture Festival 2019 under Religion category.
According to Melvin Gamayot of CGN Architects, the project was inspired by the bible scripture about King Solomon’s temple carved with an engraving of palm trees that explains the column’s curved segments of limestone that creates an appearance of a marquee of palm tree trunks reaching for the heavens.
It is seemingly a gothic cathedral from Europe with its towering spires and pillars, intricately detailed columns, elegant stained glass windows, and magnificent dome high above the altar. After undergoing a facelift for 3 years and reopened in 2017, Novena Church is now one of Singapore’s most iconic Catholic churches.
This 67-year old church is actually rare in the futuristic design arrangement of Singapore due to the country’s land constraint. Novena Church can instantly take you to France or Italy as it is meant to be reminiscent of the European churches. Its original form before its revamping was designed by Swan and MacLaren architectural firm and conserved since 1950s.
The former termite-infested building sitting beside Novena Church has now been replaced with a three-storey housing building, a multi-purpose hall, and a 200-seater auditorium.
Philippines also takes pride in Cebu’s Cory Jesu Oratory by Buck Richnold Sia of Zubu Design as it makes its way to the shortlisted finalists of WAF 2019 under Religion category.
Images courtesy of WAF